Dev Talk: What's Next?
The Queen Update launched on January 20, 2020 and revolutionized Albion’s Outland gameplay. Our next major focus will be on a crucial aspect of Albion Online that needs more attention: solo and small-group gameplay. In this Dev Talk, Game Director Robin Henkys covers several major upcoming features that address this topic, as well as other changes and improvements coming to the game.
No time to watch the video or prefer a written summary? Then read on...
Roads of Avalon
The Roads of Avalon are mystical paths through a misty, otherworldly realm. This ever-shifting network of roads connects locations all across Albion, but only lets a limited number of players pass through any given entrance at a time. Furthermore, while the Roads themselves persist, the connections at either end only last for a limited time, providing a huge number of potential gameplay scenarios.
Solo players can explore these roads to discover where they lead, engage in valuable single-player activities along the way, use them for transportation, and share scouted paths with friends or guild members. Some shortcuts through the mists will go directly from the Royal Continent into the deep Outlands, avoiding potential gankers in portal zones altogether – though the Roads of Avalon follow PvP rules, and present dangers of their own.
Small groups will find valuable group content within these pathways, as well as using them for travel. And finally, small guilds will have the opportunity to settle permanently in locations deep within the mists, removed from the fierce competition of the Outlands but still maintaining numerous options for small-group gameplay.
Corrupted Solo Dungeons
The next update will introduce an all-new type of solo dungeon, Corrupted Solo Dungeons. These areas are intended for players who enjoy PvE with a risk of PvP, as long as it’s a fair fight against a single attacker. Corrupted Solo Dungeons are non-linear dungeons filled with creatures that have been possessed by a demon from Albion’s Demonic Planes. The dungeon will “swallow” any player entering it, closing the entrance behind them and preventing other players from following.
Players will have to fight their way out by defeating the demon’s minions, and eventually the demon itself. Those looking for PvP can embrace the demonic powers of this place and use them to invade another corrupted dungeon to hunt for the player inside, facing them in a one-on-one battle.
We’re very excited for this new solo PvP activity, as it is already very fun in playtests – and it will be available in both knockdown and full-loot PvP variants!
- Balance adjustments and improvements to the current combat meta as the current season proceeds
- Changes for the next Guild Season starting in May, including:
- Incentives to attack guilds holding many valuable territories to make these guilds prioritize defense
- Adding additional incentives for powerful guilds to fight each other, rather than other, weaker groups in the Outlands
- A whole new set of artifact weapons, which will come with their own set of destiny board specializations and give veteran players something new to aspire to
- Revisiting resource changes made with Queen and boosting spawns of T6-8 resources in the Outlands
- Fixing a number of issues with fishing in the new Outlands, and finally reworking and fixing the seaweed economy for fishermen
- Streamlining and improving craft times in order to correlate them with the actual amount of resources involved in the crafting process (making time-based craft buffs from food more meaningful)
- Adjusting focus cost of artifact items to ensure they make sense to craft with focus as well
- Adding more variety to currently underrepresented slots like bags, offering new choices for players as well as increasing the variety of items to craft
- A new Mail UI
- Improved map modes displaying useful information like time zones
- A new building UI for buildings
- A quick-equip / quick-buy feature, which will allow you to configure and save sets of equipment you regularly use
In terms of big features, we know we want to focus on improving the Royal Continent and Faction Warfare. In our vision, Faction Warfare will become a simple and exciting activity to engage in as a beginning player – a training activity for open-world PvP – but will also have enough depth to engage advanced players who prefer the Royal Continent over the Outlands. As such, we see the potential for Faction Warfare to be similar to “Realm vs. Realm” content in other games, where players should really identify with their chosen faction, earning unique rewards and meaningful standings.
In terms of open-world experience in Albion overall, we believe it is finally time to significantly improve the different mounts available in Albion. We want to improve the variety and usefulness of mounts by adding active abilities to different mount types, giving each type a distinct role in the world of Albion.
Finally, work on the mobile versions is proceeding nicely, and we’ll soon be ready to share some significant improvements – including an all-new HUD and joystick-based control scheme, as well as an auto-downloader for patches. That means the mobile release of Albion Online is finally drawing closer, but we will still take the time to iron out all flaws in the control scheme before we move forward with any release date. Still, we’re having a hard time not being excited when we think about finally giving every player the possibility of jumping into their Albion character on their phone!
Lastly, in regards to last year’s roadmap: while we’ve achieved most of what we set out to do, some things remain unfinished (like better highlighting of PvP hotspots and open-world objectives), which we will continue to work towards. Other ideas from that roadmap have become part of our upcoming features, such as Gathering Dungeons, which are included in our plans for the Roads of Avalon. The same might happen to some of the topics in this roadmap, as things change or are adapted as part of the development process.
That said, we’re really excited about turning our attention towards improving the small-scale PvP experience in Albion Online, along with all the other improvements listed above. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback on our roadmap!